Indiana Elementary Faculty Instructor Faces Classroom Challenges – Free Spirit Media
Recently, a first-grade teacher from Indiana shared how life was different since working face-to-face with her students after returning to face-to-face teaching two weeks ago. She wants her full name to remain anonymous, but has given permission to use her initials: LP
LP was concerned about going back to work in person because she thought she would be more prone to COVID-19 as she would have around 22 children. She didn’t feel 100% safe from having to make sure the kids were safe at school, but there’s no way she can know how safe they are at home. This was just another responsibility added to her working day. Even without COVID-19, small children tend to be injured in accidents. After the pandemic set in, teachers had to take special precautions for their students.
As of March 1, 2021, there was an average of 542 cases. The seven-day average is 839. Cases in Indiana fluctuated over the course of 2020-2021. But as of now, the state is at the height of increased cases. Because of this, teachers like LP are worried about going back to the classroom.
“Yes, the parents had a choice and we had about two-thirds of personal returns and one-third stayed virtual. Fifty personal 20 virtual ones in the first grade alone, ”says LP after being asked whether or not the students’ parents had the option to send their children back to school in person.
Now that the children are back to school in person, safety precautions are in place and they are expected to be taken seriously on the school premises. However, teachers need to ensure that the younger students understand the importance of staying socially distant and always staying rehabilitated. The state of Indiana has introduced new restrictions and guidelines on the safety of its schools.
“We have rules in the classroom, students have to wear their masks all day and have short breaks,” said LP. “We wash our hands and disinfect often. They also have protective gates on their desks that they have to face all day. You are not allowed to walk around freely in the room. We have to limit the amount of paper we give them because we cannot collect papers without quarantining them for a few days. You are not allowed to participate in class registers, so the amount of resources is limited. I made Velcro squares to represent each student’s personal space. They use boxes to hold their backpacks and coats so that no children’s clothing touches another. ”
LP says she had even more challenges to face with the students because they have difficulty sitting still with so many new rules. Since she teaches first graders, she has a hard time keeping the students focused in school. But over time, she hopes they will adjust quickly. Both students and teachers have problems with new learning and teaching methods.
“The hardest part of face-to-face teaching is that the children can’t move as much as they need and lose their ability to sit and stay in their room. Maintaining class management becomes a challenge, ”says LP
LP faced obstacles when schools closed completely for the first time. She prefers to learn in person rather than online because she believes that this is the way to learn better. She was uncomfortable with the new system she had to learn to teach the students. It was about learning how to teach differently.
“The hardest part of the online class was that most of the students received the answers and were unable to work through their own work. As a result, the validity of tests and graded work has been affected, ”says LP
LP explains how she had to adapt her lifestyle as a teacher. Not only did students have to adapt to a new way of learning through a computer screen, but teachers also had to learn new ways of teaching online. Both parties faced challenges due to COVID-19.
“My thoughts on going back to the classroom were twofold, one I didn’t have with COVID-19 and I was concerned about 22 kids in one room that I would get it safely. On the other hand, I know that children learn better in person and not through a screen, ”says LP
From now on, teachers are not required to be vaccinated.
In any case, as a teacher, she had to face different problems in every situation. LP is just one of many who had a voice on how COVID has affected their work lives.